Seoul prosecutors storm Volkswagen office on emissions case

Seoul, Feb 19 (IANS) South Korean prosecutors on Friday stormed German carmaker Volkswagen’s Seoul office and a house of a senior company official as part of an investigation into a case of falsely reporting vehicular emissions.

The Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office raided the office in central Seoul of Audi-Volkswagen Korea, a South Korean unit of German luxury carmaker Volkswagen and its sister company Audi. The house of an unidentified executive of the Seoul office was also searched, XInhua reported.

Investigators seized computer hard disks, documents on emissions’ verification and emails exchanged with headquarters in Germany.

Volkswagen has faced plenty of lawsuits globally after admitting in September last year to fabricating emissions test in the US.

South Korea’s environment ministry filed a criminal lawsuit last month against the Audi-Volkswagen Korea and two executive officials for failing to submit sufficient information on its recall plan even after receiving an order to recall faulty models.

The ministry said the German carmaker violated an air environmental protection law, failing to provide cars complying with permissible emissions standards and failing to comply with verification procedures.

The conviction can result in a prison term of up to seven years and a fine of up to 100 million won (about $80,000).

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